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Contemporary China
Society and Social Change


  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107600799

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About the Authors
  • China's rapid economic growth, modernization and globalization have led to astounding social changes. Contemporary China provides a fascinating portrayal of society and social change in the contemporary People's Republic of China. This book introduces readers to key sociological perspectives, themes and debates about Chinese society. It explores topics such as family life, citizenship, gender, ethnicity, labour, religion, education, class and rural/urban inequalities. It considers China's imperial past, the social and institutional legacies of the Maoist era, and the momentous forces shaping it in the present. It also emphasises diversity and multiplicity, encouraging readers to consider new perspectives and rethink Western stereotypes about China and its people. Real-life case studies illustrate the key features of social relations and change in China. Definitions of key terms, discussion questions and lists of further reading help consolidate learning. Including full-colour maps and photographs, this book offers remarkable insight into Chinese society and social change.

    • By emphasising diversity, each chapter challenges students to rethink stereotypes, both of their own societies as well as China
    • Real-life case studies and full-colour maps and photographs help engage students
    • Draws upon the authors' own active research in China
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107600799
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 24 colour illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Social Institutions:
    1. Families, kinship and relatedness
    2. Marriage, intimacy, sex
    3. Citizenship, household registration and migration
    4. Community institutions
    5. Work
    Part II. Cultures, Socialization and the Formation of Identities:
    6. Religion, ritual and religiosity
    7. Ethnicity
    8. Education and the cultivation of citizens
    9. Modernity, youth identities and popular culture
    Part III. Inequalities, Injustices and Social Responses:
    10. Class and stratification
    11. Regional, rural/urban and within-community inequalities
    12. The 'woman question' and gender inequalities
    13. Collective action and social change.

  • Authors

    Tamara Jacka, Australian National University, Canberra
    Tamara Jacka's primary research interests are in gender and rural/urban inequalities; and the interconnections between social change and individual experiences and agency. She has carried out field research in a number of sites in northern and central China. She is the author of four books: Women, Gender and Rural Development in China (co-edited with Sally Sargeson; Edward Elgar, 2011), Rural Women in Urban China: Gender, Migration and Social Change (M. E. Sharpe, 2006), On the Move: Women and Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China (co-edited with Arianne Gaetano; Columbia University Press, 2004) and Women's Work in Rural China: Change and Continuity in an Era of Reform (Cambridge University Press, 1997). Her book, Rural Women in Urban China, won the American Anthropological Association's Francis Hsu award for Best Book in East Asian Anthropology (2007). She is also a co-editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies and a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, the Asian Studies Association of Australia and the Chinese Studies Association of Australia. She has over twelve years' experience of teaching undergraduate courses on Chinese society and politics, and supervises postgraduate students in Chinese studies, gender studies, anthropology and development studies.

    Andrew B. Kipnis, Australian National University, Canberra
    Andrew B. Kipnis is the author of more than forty articles and three books on Chinese society – Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics and Schooling in China (University of Chicago Press, 2011), China and Postsocialist Anthropology: Theorizing Power and Society after Communism (Eastbridge, 2008) and Producing Guanxi: Sentiment, Self and Subculture in a North China Village (Duke University Press, 1997). He is also co-editor of The China Journal and a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, the Australian Anthropological Society, The Association for Asian Studies and the Chinese Studies Association of Australia. He has taught courses on Chinese Culture and Society, Chinese Public Culture and Religions in China as well as courses on various sub-disciplines of anthropology. He has carried out field research in a number of sites in both rural and urban China.

    Sally Sargeson, Australian National University, Canberra
    Sally Sargeson's research explores how ordinary people contribute to the extraordinary changes occurring in China's countryside. She has published numerous journal articles and three books, Women, Gender and Rural Development in China (co-edited with Tamara Jacka, published by Edward Elgar, 2011), Collective Goods, Collective Futures in Asia (Routledge, 2002) and Reworking China's Proletariat (Macmillan, 1999). A member of the Association for Asian Studies, the Chinese Studies Association of Australia and the Australasian Political Studies Association, she has 14 years' experience of teaching Chinese Politics and Sociology in universities in Australia, UK and HK, has lectured widely in universities throughout China and has been a Visiting Professor at Peking University, Zhejiang University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

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